Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Players continue to slide into first base...

when it's been proven you can get there faster standing up." Words of advice from Michael Kay, the Yankees announcer, after Robinson Cano beat out an infield hit to third by sliding head-first into first base. Sort of ironic to hear this being said about another team after all the times we've seen the Twins--particularly Nick Punto--do this.

As for the game... well, the Twins lost 6-5, but they were lucky to even be close. They were completely outplayed, which made me feel good that they even got the winning run to the plate in the ninth. With Craig Monroe pinch-hitting for Alexi Casilla again, it was impossible to not think back to Wednesday, when he capped a 5-run rally with a two out, full count, 3-run homer. No such luck this time. Watched a pitch go by low and away, really perfectly placed by Mariano Rivera, for strike three. Could have been just low, could have been just outside, but it really was a great pitch.

What really kept the Twins in the game was bad baserunning by the Yankees. Glen Perkins had a pickoff, Jason Giambi wasn't even within orbit of second base on his attempt for a double when Michael Cuddyer's throw got there, and A-Rod got doubled off of second on a pretty easy fly ball to right field. He also got out going from third to home on a spectacular play by Brian Bass. Brendan Harris did his best to help the Yanks by not applying the tag on Cuddyer's throw or Perkins' pickoff, but the old baseball adage of the ball beating you there meaning an out, combined with a bad angle for the umpire, allowed both calls to go the Twins' way.

The first inning, when the Twins did almost all of their damage, really wasn't all that good if you look at it. Casilla had a single and Joe Mauer walked, but then it was an error by Shelley Duncan, a hit by Michael Cuddyer on a ball Alex Rodriguez really should have had, and Jason Kubel rolling over on a grounder that just barely squeaked into right field. All three could easily have been inning ending double plays, but instead no outs were made.

Justin Morneau hit his team-leading (no surprise there) tenth homer in the eighth inning off Kyle Farnsworth, with Joba Chamberlain having been officially moved to his new role as a starter. The Twins won't see him, however, as he will make his first start on Tuesday.

Oh, and if some unfortunate accident were to befall Bobby Abreu before the next game, I have to say, I wouldn't be all that upset.

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